Republicans – Knox Democrats Wed, 23 Nov 2022 03:54:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Republicans – Knox Democrats 32 32 Pennsylvania House Republicans impeach Democratic Philadelphia prosecutor Wed, 23 Nov 2022 03:54:14 +0000

Last Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 107 to 85 to impeach Democratic Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. All but one Republican voted for impeachment and all Democrats voted against it except three who were on leave and did not vote.

Krasner, who was reelected last year to a second four-year term as DA of Philadelphia by a wide margin, has been at the center of fascist agitation by Republicans in Pennsylvania and nationally. Donald Trump singled him out as a prime example of “radical left” Democratic support for crime and criminals.

The undemocratic and contrived nature of the impeachment was underscored by the fact that it was conducted by a lame chamber following midterm elections that could potentially transfer control of the legislative chamber to the Democrats. Final results in two hotly contested suburban Philadelphia districts are expected Nov. 23, but on Friday the Associated Press said Democrats had narrowly won at least one of the two and would take control of the State House to the first time in 12 years.

State Republicans say Krasner’s “soft on crime” policies are responsible for an upsurge in gun violence and other crime in the city. In the articles of impeachment, the Republicans list supposed offenses such as the “minimization” or “decriminalization” of petty offenses such as theft, prostitution and possession of small amounts of marijuana, and the promulgation of guidelines sentencing alternatives for low level offenders. Republicans also vilify Krasner for his prosecution of police officers involved in shootings of suspects.

According to Philadelphia Investigator, the state Senate will begin certain “trial-related administrative duties” of Krasner during the lame session and before the new state government takes office. However, with the current legislative session ending Nov. 30, the trial is unlikely to be completed before the current state legislature adjourns.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks about Republican-led efforts to investigate his crime and gun violence record on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg on Friday, October 21, 2022. [AP Photo/Mark Scolforo]

Conviction and impeachment require a two-thirds vote by the state senate. Republicans have retained control of the state’s upper house, but all Republican senators plus at least five Democrats are expected to vote convict, whether in the current lame session or in the new legislature meeting in January, an unlikely event either way. .

Penn State University law professor Stephen Toss explained the uncharted waters Pennsylvania politics have entered, telling the New York Times, “I’m not aware of any precedent where this has happened, where there’s a lame duck, an impeachment appeal after the fact…and it’s basically up to the Pennsylvania Senate to decide what the rules of procedure are.”

Bruce Ledewitz, professor of constitutional law at Duquesne University, told the Applicant, “There is very little chance here that there is a sufficient legal basis for impeachment and removal.” He noted that the state justice system, where the conflict may end, has the power to stop the impeachment campaign or move it forward.